Meet the Teachers
Mrs. Carlson has been obsessed with reading and writing since she was a child. Her mother would not make her do chores if she would read to her younger siblings. Quite the deal for her! She lives in Edwardsville with her husband, John and her black Lab, Lucy (the sweetest and most intelligent dog on the planet). Her favorite activities are spending time with her children Megan and Sean, reading, writing, and walking Lucy on the trails in Edwardsville.
Mrs. Dena Geiger loves to design and build most anything, so teaching math is a natural fit. She and her husband, Jake, farm between Alhambra and Grantfork. Besides raising crops and hogs, they have raised three daughters – Sadie, a crop consultant with CPS, Claire, an ag teacher and FFA advisor at Nokomis High School, and Olivia, who is currently a civil engineering master’s student at U of I. Mrs. Geiger enjoys sewing, woodworking, gardening, and cooking, along with leading the Grant Prairie 4-H Club and volunteering at the Madison County Fair.
Mrs. Karen Nave grew up on a dairy farm near Trenton. This upbringing led to a love of science and the outdoors. She and her husband, Bob, have two children, Jessica and Troy. Extra time is spent at soccer games, zumba, with her horses, and singing with the contemporary praise band and working on the landscaping at her church.
Mrs. Taylor is an avid traveler; during her time off she enjoys seeing the world. Her favorite destinations have been Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Paris, and Hawaii. She enjoys learning about the culture and history of each place she visits. When Mrs. Taylor is not traveling, she is spending her time with her husband Evan, and their two dogs (Milo and Lucy), reading, or working with technology. Mrs. Taylor taught junior high for 4 years before coming to Highland Middle School. She has also worked at McKendree University and Greenville College in instructional design and technology. She is excited to bring her passion for history and culture to Highland Middle School.
Mrs. Bria Richter was raised in Marine, IL. She earned money for college while volunteering in the AmeriCorps program and attended SIUE to earn a BA in Anthropology/Biology. She later attended McKendree and earned an MA in Special Education in 2010. She is the mother of four children and the wife of a dairy farmer in Clinton County. Her three teenagers are active in soccer, golf, tennis, basketball and chorus, which keeps her very busy if she isn't teaching. Mrs. Richter loves the outdoors and spends most of her free time doing something related to horticulture and the natural world. She taught at the High School level for four years in Hillsboro, IL before acquiring a position with HMS.
Mrs. Gurley did her student teaching at St. Jacob Elementary and Granite City High School. She also taught at Shiloh Middle School for two years prior to coming to Highland Middle School in 2010. She also has seven years experience working for a non-profit child welfare agency, as a case manager and supervisor for Children’s Home + Aid. She has volunteered for Habitat For Humanity, Girls on the Run and church events.She enjoys bicycling, stain glass, painting, cooking, swimming, reading, 4-wheeler and spend time with her family. Mrs. Gurley enjoys vacationing at the beach. MSW-Masters in Social Work, Graduated from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville in 2003.M.ED- Masters in Education, Major in Special Education, Graduated from McKendree University in 2008.